Quaeramus cum pastoribus

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The text is of uncertain origin, apparently first being used by Mouton. Mouton's setting enjoyed enormous popularity, mss. being found in the Vatican and in Guatamalan churches alike, and it served as a model both for the other motets and for two parody masses.

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Text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

(as appearing in the Mouton motet)
Prima pars
Quaeramus cum pastoribus
Verbum incarnatum;
cantemus cum hominibus
regem saeculorum. Noe.
Quod tu vides in stabulo?
Jesum natum de Virgine.
Quid audis in praesepio?
Angelos cum carmine
et pastores dicentes: Noe.
Secunda pars
Ubi pascas, ubi cubes?
Dic, si ploras, aut si redes:
Te rogamus, Rex Christe. Noe.
Cibus est lac virgineum,
lectus durum praesepium,
carmina sunt lacrimae. Noe.

English.png English translation

First Part
Let us seek with the shepherds
the Word incarnate;
let us sing with all mankind
for the King of the ages. Noel.
What do you see in the stable?
Jesus, born of the Virgin.
What do you hear in the manger?
Angels with a song
and shepherds saying: Noel.

Second part
Where do you eat, where do you lie?
Say, whether you weep or laugh:
we ask you, Christ the King. Noel.
My food is milk of the Virgin,
my bed a hard manger,
my songs are tears. Noel.